A client came in complaining of sever anxiety. All her friends said why don’t you just smoke pot. They all said it helps them. She asked me should I?
I said let’s look at your anxiety in context to the big picture. Anxiety is a normal physiological response like pain. It is there biologically to increase your chance of survival in an inhospitable world and is supposed to inform your behavior.
Upon exploring her living situation we learned her husband is an alcoholic and can get mean. She is financially dependent on her husband’s income and trapped. If she were to leave him she would need change out of her kids school as she couldn’t afford to live in the neighborhood they do currently. “I will bite the bullet” she said for her family. She felt also her kids love their dad and she doesn’t want to be the bad one and separate them from him.
So looking at the context what she really was asking for was something to allow her to numb and tolerate a shitty situation. Studies show medicating this way in 10 years the client is worse off than before they ever took a medication. IE treating her situation with marijuana would allow her to placate and tolerate a shitty relationship for a longer period of time while conditions in her life continue to deteriorate. The next time her anxiety would return as inevitably it will her mess will be a lot bigger. Her kids via shitty role modeling will have learned to have codependent relationships themselves and to also tolerate shitty situations. Also her kids will have learned to take medications or street drugs to enable tolerating shitty situations. The relationship with no new skills added will be a lot worse. And as no new skills were learned the chance of going into another shitty relationship after this one implodes is extremely likly.
Instead of marijuana or any other medication to tolerate a shitty situation it would be better to ask this series of questions:
- If you were your daughter and she was in your exact situation what would you tell her to do? Would you tell her to stay in a crappy relationship to maintain a poor role model for her kids?
- What would your mother tell you to do?
- If you were not you but if you were your best friend what would you tell her to do?
- Look at all the people telling you to smoke pot. How are their relationships? Are they headed for possible future trouble? Are they not dealing with shit? Are they people you would want your daughter to take advice from?
Add these things together and let that inform your behaviors.
Any medication or substance that discourages rather than encourages the acquisition of new skills is a real bad idea. Any medication or substance used to bypass the common sense behavior feedback loop with the environment one lives in and or enable a bad situation to continue is a real bad idea. Especially those situations that one feels in their heart compelled to do or continue but in their heads if they were to evaluate it they would say “what was I thinking!”